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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Osprey in Sarasota County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Osprey School

 
 
Osprey School Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 7, 2010
1. Osprey School Marker
View of the front side of the historical marker.
Inscription. [Front side of Marker]

The Osprey School served the Osprey and Vamo communities from 1927 through June 1976. It was one of four boom-time schools which were designed by Tampa architect M. Leo Elliot and built along the Tamiami Trail between 1926 and 1928.

The land on which the school was built was part of the 145-acre homestead of John and Eliza Webb, originally from Utica, New York, who settled Spanish Point in 1867. Mabel Webb Johnson, granddaughter of John and Eliza Webb, and her husband Ernest recognized that a new school was needed. They sold the plot of land to the school board for $10 0n December 28, 1926.

Architect Elliot's plans for the Spanish Colonial Revival-style building recognized the importance of cross-ventilation in a hot and humid climate. Construction of the school was awarded to the firm of Becchetti and Romersa for $19,600. The one-story, six-classroom school initially served grades one through nine.

By the time the school opened in1927, the real estate boom had gone bust and the population of Osprey had declined. With a dwindling tax base, Osprey School and virtually all of the other Sarasota County schools closed for several months in 1933 because of a lack of revenue.

[Reverse side of Marker]

Parental and teacher involvement sustained
Osprey School Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 7, 2010
2. Osprey School Marker
View of the reverse side of the historical marker.
Osprey School during hard economic times. Families helped by making many necessary repairs to the building and by providing picnic lunches for outings. Teachers donated supplies and purchased vegetables and fruits for school lunches.

After World War II, when the county experienced renewed economic growth, the soaring population required massive improvements and expansion of school facilities. Osprey School was the last of the county schools to be improved during the post-war period. It finally was rewired in 1959, which, among other repairs, allowed for air conditioning and heating units.

Osprey School survived without further improvements until June 1976, when it closed. Students who lived in Osprey transferred to schools to the north or south of the community. The School Board used the building as a Teacher Education Center until 1989.

Gulf Coast Heritage Association, Inc. acquired and rehabilitated the former school for use as a Visitors Center for Historic Spanish Point. In 1994, the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
 
Erected 1996 by Sarasota County Historical Commission.
 
Location. 27° 12.078′ N, 82° 29.452′ W. Marker is in Osprey, Florida, in Sarasota County. Marker can be reached from
Osprey School Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 7, 2010
3. Osprey School Marker
View of historical marker and adjacent panel map to the Spanish Point Preserve.
the intersection of South Tamiami Trail (U.S. 41) and Spanish Point Road. Click for map. Although the Osprey School building is located along the South Tamiami Trail, the historical marker is not located in front of the building, rather it is located on the backside of the building, along the walkway from the parking lot to the back entrance of the school building. Marker is in this post office area: Osprey FL 34229, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Historic Spanish Point (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Oscar Scherer State Park (approx. 2.3 miles away); Laurel Turpentine and Lumber Industry (approx. 5.1 miles away); Casey's Pass (approx. 6.3 miles away); Nokomis School (approx. 6.4 miles away); Venice Army Air Base (approx. 7.3 miles away); The Calusa and Seminole Peoples (approx. 7.3 miles away); 1926 Article From "Venice News" (approx. 7.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Osprey.
 
Categories. EducationSettlements & Settlers
 
Osprey School Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 7, 2010
4. Osprey School Marker
View of the historical marker as seen along the back walkway approach to the school building.
Osprey School Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 7, 2010
5. Osprey School Marker
Another and more distant view of the historical marker, as seen from the parking lot, along the back walkway approach to the school building.
Osprey School Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 7, 2010
6. Osprey School Marker
View looking northeast of the Osprey School building, with a view of the historical marker in the extreme left of the picture.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page has been viewed 426 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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